Farai Chideya

Political Contributor

Farai Chideya appears in the following:

The Value: Anna Deavere Smith

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Takeaway's Farai Chideya speaks to Anna Deavere Smith about "The Value."

Today we present the first installment in a new multimedia series called “The Value,” hosted by our correspondent Farai Chideya. The series explores what we — as individuals and as a society — place value on.

Farai sat down with Anna Deavere Smith, who is an award-winning playwright, actress and professor famous for her “documentary theatre.” Her newest, play, “Let Me Down Easy,” focuses on the issue of our nation’s health care and is now playing at New York's Second Stage Theater.

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Movies: Summer's Anti-Blockbusters

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Takeaway talks to two movie critics about the anti-blockbuster movies of the summer, particularly foreign films. We talk about the British film "In the Loop," described as a combination of the West Wing and The Office, and "A Woman in Berlin," about a rape victim during the Red Army occupation. The two film critics joining The Takeaway this morning are A. O. Scott, film critic for The New York Times, and Wesley Morris, film critic for the Boston Globe.

Watch the trailer for In the Loop below.



And here's the trailer for A Woman in Berlin.

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Real-life Sopranos: NJ's International Conspiracy

Friday, July 24, 2009

A 10-year federal probe uncovered an international conspiracy involving money laundering, corruption of local and state governments and synagogues in New Jersey. Three mayors ended the day in handcuffs; five rabbis are accused of funneling $3 million through religious non-profit organizations, and 44 people are heading to court. Is this just business as usual in the Garden State? Joining The Takeaway is Bob Ingle: he's the Trenton bureau chief for Gannet news service and co-author of the book, "The Soprano State: New Jersey's Culture of Corruption."

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The Henry Louis Gates Jr Case: Massachusetts's View

Friday, July 24, 2009

Last Thursday Henry Louis Gates Jr, one of the nation's pre-eminent African American scholars, was arrested for breaking into his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Charges were dropped but the debate goes on. To find out how this story is playing locally, The Takeaway turns to Joe Sciacca, the Deputy Managing Editor of the Boston Herald. Also joining the discussion is Boston-based TV and radio commentator Callie Crossley.

"From the black perspective it's, 'oh my God, I have to once again remind my young son how to interact with a cop because he will not be Henry Louis Gates, and if it can happen to Henry Louis Gates then it can happen to anybody.'"

—Boston-based TV and radio commentator Callie Crossley

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Hyundai Cashes in with the Clunkers Program

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Federal “Cash for Clunkers” program officially kicks off today. It allows Americans to trade in cars with bad gas mileage and receive up to $4,500 towards fuel efficient vehicles. Some dealerships already began offering it and The Takeaway talks to Mary Dubois from Oklahoma City who traded in her clunker for a new, more fuel efficient vehicle. And we talk with Dan Neil, auto critic for the Los Angeles Times about the clunkers program and why Hyundai is doing so well right now. Also joining the show is Rick Halstead, a Hyundai factory worker. He's going to be talking to us from the factory in Alabama before starting his shift working on 4-cylinder engines.

"One of the problems of making cars that last 20 years, is that cars last 20 years. The rollover rate is so slow."
—Dan Neil of the Los Angeles Times on the Cash for Clunkers program

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Sarah Palin: Former Governor, About-To-Be-Author

Friday, July 24, 2009

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin officially hands over power to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell on Sunday. What’s next for her and what is her legacy as Alaska's former governor? (One thing we do know: her autobiography is scheduled to come out next spring from Harper Collins.) Joining The Takeaway is Libby Casey, reporter for the Alaska Public Radio Network, to talk about Palin's legacy in Alaska, and Bernadette Malone, former editor at Sentinal, an imprint of Penguin Publishers, to talk about the autobiography.

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Baseball Hall of Fame Inducation at Cooperstown

Friday, July 24, 2009

This weekend, Cooperstown holds its induction ceremony for the Baseball Hall of Fame—days after White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Takeaway talks with Dave Zirin, who writes about sports for The Nation and is author of "A People's History of Sports in the United States."

Watch the final out in Mark Buehrle's perfect game below.

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Jobs, the Minimum Wage, and Unemployment Insurance

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Dow posted its highest closing since last November, topping the 9000 mark for the first time since January. And the minimum wage goes up today from $6.25 to $7.25. But some say this will create more joblessness, pushing the nation’s unemployment-insurance system into a severe and long-term test. To talk about all of this is Peter Morici, economist and business Professor at the University of Maryland, and Jason DeParle, a reporter for The New York Times.

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Just for Laughs: Montreal's Comedy Festival

Friday, July 24, 2009

Montreal, Canada, hosts the annual "Just For Laughs" festival this weekend. A swarm of comedians from around the world descends on the city for hundreds of shows. Joining The Takeaway from Montreal to talk about the festival is Steve Heisler, a contributor to The Onion's A/V club, and Andy Kindler, a writer and comedian and a veteran of the festival.

Watch a clip of Andy Kindler performing below.

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Keeping Score with the Week's News

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Takeaway is taking a look at the news scorecard for the week including Obama selling his embattled health care plan, Secretary of State Clinton taking aim at North Korea, and a Harvard professor facing down police from inside his own home. Here to help tally who's up and who’s down is friend of The Takeaway Marcus Mabry, the international business editor at The New York Times, and Reihan Salam, fellow at the New America Foundation and co-author of "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream."

"Right now the Republicans don't have to do anything other than let the train wreck happen as the Democrats debate with the Democrats."
—Marcus Mabry of the New York Times on the health care debate

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The Road to the Future? All About Cars

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The car industry is starting to release its second quarter profit reports. The Ford Motor Company is posting a surprise $2.8 billion profit, but it continues to have operating losses. Since its two biggest competitors, GM and Chrysler, have just emerged from bankruptcy, the report is definitely creating a mixed picture of the company's health. Globally, Hyundai has managed to post a huge profit, while luxury car brand Porsche has big changes in the works. For more we turn to Nick Bunkley, The New York Times auto industry reporter, and Russell Padmore, a BBC business correspondent.

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Call the Police: Racial Profiling and the Law

Thursday, July 23, 2009

At the end of his press conference last night, President Barack Obama discussed the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. The president said the cops "acted stupidly" in their decision to arrest the nation's preeminent African American studies scholar when he was questioned about a possible break-in at his own home. Law enforcement officers receive sensitivity training in dealing with racial profiling. So why do these incidents continue to happen? Joining The Takeaway to discuss the issue is Phillip Atiba Goff, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Executive Director of Research for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, and Rick Weger, a lieutenant in charge of training at the San Jose Police Department.

"It can be unintentional biases that people hold that cause this racially-biased policing... A vast majority of the men and women in law enforcement have no intention of being prejudiced."
—Rick Weger, a lieutenant in charge of training at the San Jose Police Department

For more, listen to The Takeaway's story, America, Still Not 'Post-Racial' and read Takeaway Contributor David Wall Rice's essay, Professor Gates Arrested? No Surprise.

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Hillary Clinton and North Korea: A War of Words

Thursday, July 23, 2009

North Korea and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have launched a war of words. In a speech in Thailand, where she is attending a regional summit, Secretary Clinton urged North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons; North Korea's official media responded by calling Clinton "an unintelligent funny lady." North Korea also announced that the six-party talks on disarmament were dead. Jill McGivering, the BBC's Asia correspondent, joins The Takeaway to explain what's at stake.

Here is more on Secretary Clinton's trip to the ASEAN summit and her call for changes in Myanmar and North Korea:

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California Dreaming... of a Budget

Thursday, July 23, 2009

After weeks of budget battles and threatened cuts, the California state budget is finally up for a vote today. Or maybe tomorrow. Possibly next week. The Takeaway talks to Dan Walters, a political columnist for the Sacramento Bee, about California's continuing budget crisis.

A very tired looking Gov. Schwarzeneggar thanks people for their budget-solving suggestions in this video:

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Calling All Guinea Pigs: Volunteer for the H1N1 Trials

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The U.S. government is seeking thousands of volunteers, from babies to the elderly, to roll up their sleeves for the first clinical trials of an H1N1 flu vaccine. The race is on to test whether a new vaccine really will protect against this virus before its expected rebound in the fall. Will the vaccines work? Will there be enough vaccines for everyone? What are the dangers of the vaccine itself? The Takeaway talks to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which will oversee the trials.

"We think the risk is extremely small because we give tens of millions of doses of seasonal flu vaccine every year to adults, the elderly and children, and there's not a significant, at all, degree of adverse effects."
—Dr. Anthony Fauci on the H1N1 vaccine

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President Obama Packs The House in Ohio

Thursday, July 23, 2009

President Obama is heading to Ohio today on a campaign swing—not for the presidency but for his health care plan. Dan Bobkoff, reporter for WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio, is getting ready to join the crowds filling the Shaker Heights High School gymnasium this afternoon. He joins The Takeaway with his take.

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Salesman-in-Chief: Obama Pitches Health Care Reform

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last night in a primetime press conference, President Obama pitched his plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system. For a performance review, The Takeaway talks to T.R. Reid. He is a veteran reporter and the author of the forthcoming book: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.

Here the president addresses possible sacrifices for health care reform:

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The Very Model of Modern Major Health Care System

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In last night's press conference, President Obama cited several models of health care that he thinks might hold lessons for the nation's health care system. One of those models was the Cleveland Clinic, which President Obama will be visiting today. Other hospitals that are often cited for excellent patient care are the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. What makes these medical centers so noteworthy? To find out, The Takeaway talks to Megan King, a registered nurse at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, and Mark Allan, who studies the health care system and is the director of the health sector management program at the Boston University School of Management.

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Vice President Biden has Georgia on His Mind

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden is in Georgia today. The former Soviet republic is an independent nation, but has been at war with Russia in order to keep Moscow at bay. The vice president made it clear that the U.S. stands with Georgia, but it is unclear whether that support extends to selling weapons to the nation, a move that could make Russia very nervous. For more of the story, The Takeaway is joined by Steven Eke, the BBC's Russia anaylst.

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Job Creation Rising, But Job Losses Continue

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress yesterday, saying he expects to see new jobs appearing near the end of this year or early next year. He warned, however, that it could take a while for the unemployment rate to slow down. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the long wait for work is New York Times magazine writer Roger Lowenstein, who sees the lack of job hiring as more troubling than job losses. Also joining the conversation are Fred Winner, who runs a welding company in Western Ohio and has had to lay off employees and cut hours, and Boreas Van Nouhuys, who lost his job last November as a carpenter in Kauai, and is still looking for work.

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